Eric Weinstein’s discussion of the impact of digital capitalism sounds almost like Marx talking about the impact of industrial capitalism. I’d argue today’s capitalism is more like Capitalism 4.0 following mercantilism and the age of exploration, the industrial revolution, and the managerial revolution.
To ask the question is to answer it. He was the plutocrats’ handpicked frontman to purge the Orange Man. Hedges is way too much of a conventional liberal ideologue for my tastes, and this interview contains a fair amount of obvious hyperbole, but he’s interesting is that he is far more willing to criticize the “liberal class” than most of his compatriots.
By Chauncey Devega, Salon
Joe Biden is now president-elect of the United States, whether Donald Trump will admit it or not. Biden won the 2020 election by at least 5 million votes, and received the most votes of any presidential candidate in American history. Joe Biden also won the highest percentage of the popular vote as a challenger since Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover in the 1932 election.
When Biden (presumably) takes office in January 2021, he will face formidable obstacles and lofty expectations. Even now, he faces the resistance of the Trump regime and its supporters, who have refused to accept the fact that Donald Trump has clearly been defeated both in the popular vote and the Electoral College.
So Republicans and Democrats share a similar future. Fair enough. The encouraging thing that has happened on the mainstream right-wing lately has been the signs of a split between FOX and the Trumpists and talk of a Trump TV network. Being a persistent thorn in the side to the neocons and their mouthpieces is a way Trump really could perform a “public service.”
By Paul Waldman, Washington Post
When President Trump finally leaves office on Jan. 20, he will bequeath to Joe Biden a disaster to rival those any president has faced: a raging pandemic, an economy still in crisis, a federal government degraded and demoralized. Just digging out of the mess will be a challenge for the ages.
Meanwhile, Trump’s party will have a straightforward task: As they did with President Barack Obama, the Republicans will try to obstruct whatever Biden might want to do, sabotage the economic recovery if they can and generally do whatever is in their power to make him fail. But as they do so, they are likely to be riven by another echo of the Obama years: an internal conflict pitting the party’s angriest elements against an elite they will declare to be insufficiently devoted to the cause.
The changes that these victorious state and local initiatives represent are less than 1% of what needs to be done regarding the so-called “criminal justice system.” But it represents a major turning of the tides. This is arguably the most important libertarian moment since the draft was ended in the Vietnam era.
By Lee Camp, Counterpunch
Something seismic happened in this election and it has nothing to do with Joe Biden winning. And yes, Joe Biden did indeed win. I’m sorry for those of you Trump fans who believe the election was rigged against him. It simply wasn’t.
Yes, millions of Americans were indeed purged from the voter rolls – but they were mostly people of color. So if MAGA Nation are waiting for those votes to be counted, then Trump will actually do even worse. And I honestly don’t care if you’re thinking, “But I saw a video on Tik-Tok of someone burning a ballot and then smothering it in hot sauce and eating it.” That doesn’t mean 50,000 votes were switched in Nevada. I saw a video on Twitter of a guy who could shoot laser beams out of his urethra—that doesn’t make it REAL! …And before you ask – Yes, he used his power to fight crime.
Those of us with libertarian-inclined political leanings were the real winners in the 2020 election. The “war on drugs,” along with general overcriminalization is probably the most extreme form of statism that exists in the modern United States, at least on a large scale.
By Kyle Jaeger
The 2020 election showed yet again that marijuana legalization has widespread, bipartisan appeal. And the mainstream nature of the issue is demonstrated clearly when comparing the support that cannabis reform got at the ballot box this month to that brought in by major candidates for president, Senate and other offices.
In a year that saw the highest level of voter turnout in American history—in no small part due to the heated presidential race where the incumbent was ousted—cannabis legalization ballot measures were approved in red and blue states, proving to be more popular than many candidates seeking to represent those jurisdictions.
In most cases, candidates who were outperformed by marijuana at the polls declined to endorse the reform ahead of the election—perhaps something that politicians in states where cannabis is on the ballot in 2022 will take note of.
This is a pretty good critique of the “flag and a pie and a mom and a Bible” crowd. Although it’s obvious weakness is that it fails to take totalitarian humanism and its relationship to the digital capitalist revolution seriously. “Christian nationalists” are a minority political faction in the US that do not reflect the views of the general power elite, even if they are sometimes used as useful idiots by factions within the power elite.
Seth Andrews addresses the rise (and impending fall) of American Christian Nationalism.
Obama: “As a college student, I was a shallow loser.”
In many ways, Obama personifies the values of woke capitalism in the sense of espousing a duplicitous cultural leftism on the surface level while fully embracing the values of the corporate class and serving as a functionary for imperialism.
The appropriate advice would be “Get a life!”
By Elizabeth Bernstein, Wall Street Journal
Want to throttle someone you know over politics?
You’re not alone.
Two weeks from an election that has fueled more bitter divisions than America has seen in decades, it feels harder than ever to interact with people who have vastly different views. And as much as we might want to avoid these folks, it’s not always possible—or desirable—especially if they are friends or family.
By Troy Southgate
It is foolish to assume that various forms of political correctness are part of a Marxist plot. In reality, the systematic reinterpretation of controversial issues such as race and gender is a means of re-socialisation. A new model of civic organisation is required to meet the ever-changing nature of technology and the increasingly migrational workforce that is required to maintain it. Apart from the additional fact that such intense environmental adaptation is rendering its citizens both physically and mentally unhealthy, this is all part of the endless maximisation of wealth and resources. Without changing the dynamics of social relations, therefore, capitalism would be unable to profit at our expense.
This is some pretty good commentary FWIW but Van Jones was still the dude that was crying tears of joy when his team won the Super Bowl…err…election…so he’s still playing with a handicap.
By Matthew Adams
While the study of anarchism has undergone a renaissance in recent years, historical scholarship has been a relatively minor aspect of this renewed focus. Presenting an historiographical examination of the main forms of writing on anarchist ideas, this article argues that the predominance of ‘canonistic’ approaches to anarchism is in part a consequence of the disciplinary dominance of political theory in the study of anarchism.
One of the worst things about mainstream “conservatives” is that they give criticism of “big government” or “statism” a bad name. The US energy sector functions on the standard state-capitalist crony-capitalist corporate-welfarist model. Proponents of the “Green New Deal” merely want to shift its focus away from fossil fuels to “alternative” energy. Proponents of “Medicare for All” merely want to shift the model of state-capitalist healthcare away from monopoly insurance companies and professional guilds toward the public sector bureaucracy and healthcare delivery cartels, with the costs being passed on to taxpayers generally rather than employers or individual insurance premium payers. Proponents of “free college” merely want to continue the corporate-educationist corporate-welfare model, only shifting the costs onto taxpayers generally rather than individual tuition and/or student loan debt payers. Proponents of the UBI just want to distribute welfare payments directly to recipients rather than through government bureaucracies like food stamps, TANF, or section 8 vouchers. The idea that Bernie, AOC, etc. are any more “statist” than the ordinary defense contractor-loving Republican is ridiculous.
Krystal and Saager totally lose me with their affirmation of Richard Wolff’s praise for China’s response to COVID-19. China is a test market for the kinds of state repression global and US national elites want to bring to the West. Unfortunately, if you scratch a right-wing populist like Saager, you often find a national socialist underneath. And if you scratch a social democrat like Krystal, you often find a Marxist underneath. They make for great journalists, but crummy ideologues.
Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti look back at their favorite interviews from the week including Host of the Kyle Kulinski Show, Kyle Kulinksi on how progressives can push Joe Biden further left on policy. The speak with Economics Professor, Richard Wolff, on America’s approach to handling Covid and Host of the Bad Faith Podcast, Briahana Joy Gray discusses how climate activists can combat the Biden administration’s appointment of Cedric Richmond.
A genuine “multi-order world order” would probably look a lot like the world between 1500 and 1800 before the full consolidation of modern imperialism. Not any kind of anarchistic golden age to be sure, but one where there were distinctive civilizations and cultures with their own spheres of influence without anything approaching a uniform hegemon beyond the regional level.
The largest free trade area in the world came into existence over the weekend — and the U.S. was not even invited.
Why it matters: For the first time in living memory, the hegemon at the center of a major global free trade agreement is not the U.S.
- China has stepped into Uncle Sam’s shoes, and now anchors the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, an area covering 2.2 billion people and 1/3 of all the economic activity on the planet.
The big picture: President-elect Joe Biden is expected to seek a broad multilateral alliance to pressure China on everything from trade to human rights once he becomes president. But China is making broad multilateral alliances of its own.
- RCEP includes rich democracies such as South Korea, Japan, and Australia. Their position in this major free trade area will make it that much harder for Biden to unite them against China.
I consider the most serious issue that currently faces humanity to be the ongoing concentration of power on an unprecedented level: political, economic, military, technological, cultural, medical, scientific, communicational, and legal, with the environment being the wild card in all of this. Anyone with libertarian values of any kind should be opposed to concentrated power of the kind that is capable of forming a singular world system.
We largely have such a system already through transnational governmental organizations, international financial institutions, multinational corporations, NGOs, NATO and the US military empire, and the international legal infrastructure that upholds these. A mere reversion to multi-polarity is not sufficient because Eastern powers like Russia, China, and India are merely provinces in the global system.
A shift to a less American-centric global order in favor as a UN-like world government under the auspices of “multi-partnership” or “multiculturalism” is no improvement either. Instead, we need a multi-order world order consisting of largely disconnected systems.
Paul Ratner,Big Think
- Nick Bostrom’s “singleton hypothesis” says that intelligent life on Earth will eventually form a “singleton”.
- The “singleton” could be a single government or an artificial intelligence that runs everything.
- Whether the singleton will be positive or negative depends on numerous factors and is not certain.
Does history have a goal? Is it possible that all the human societies that existed are ultimately a prelude to establishing a system where one entity will govern everything the world over? The Oxford University philosopher Nick Bostrom proposes the “singleton hypothesis,” maintaining that intelligent life on Earth will at some point organize itself into a so-called “singleton” – one organization that will take the form of either a world government, a super-intelligent machine (an AI) or, regrettably, a dictatorship that would control all affairs.
By Lucien van der Walt
Examining the theory and practice of ‘mass’ anarchism and syndicalism, this paper argues against Daryl Glaser’s views that workers’ council democracy fails basic democratic benchmarks and that, envisaged as a simple instrument of a revolution imagined in utopian ‘year zero’ terms, it will probably collapse or end in ‘Stalinist’ authoritarianism—Glaser also argues instead for parliaments, supplemented by participatory experiments.
By Ruth Kinna
This paper explores the ways in which radical utopian themes have been taken up in contemporary anarchist thought and, in particular, the relationship between utopianism and prefiguration. Prefiguration has become a definitional concept in anarchist political thinking, though the meaning of the term is not always clear and it is used to describe a range of positions and ideas. It has a special significance for protest movements, recently the Occupy movement. By probing the meanings that attach to the term and reflecting on the nature of the utopianism that prefiguration describes, the paper considers how utopia limits and extends the possibilities of protest in contemporary radical politics.
So much for the Democrats’ “socialism.”
Founder of The Daily Poster, David Sirota, weighs in on Joe Biden’s potential pick to run the Office of Budget and Management.
Only a Republican could somehow manage to make Alexandria look like a genius in comparison.
Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti weigh in on the Twitter spat between AOC and Nikki Haley over paying Americans to stay home. They also discuss spending trends that reveal people are spending more at grocery/discount stores and spending less on restaurants/entertainment.
America’s crisis of political segregation – we increasingly don’t live alongside, associate with or even marry people who think differently from us – is increasingly leading conservatives to congregate together on social media outlets designed specifically for people who think like them.
The recent rise of Parler – as well as other social media alternatives that appeal primarily to conservatives and that got their start largely by attracting the far right – raises the specter of further political polarization through digital means. Parler and others, like MeWe and Gab, are gaining momentum with a promise not to censor their users for behavior that might violate the policies of their rivals.
Eventually, social media companies may end up like television networks where different tech companies simply pander to different audiences.
We will have Parler, MeWe, and Gab for conservatives and Facebook, Twiter, and Google for liberals, just we have CNN and MSNBC for liberals and FOX and CBN for conservatives.
Tucker Carlson exposes American corporations for teaming up to censor political opponents.
FOX is throwing Trump under the bus now that he’s no longer useful. A split between FOX and the Trumpists would be great.
A four-way ruling class splintering between Trumpists, neocons, neoliberals,and progressives is exactly what we need, hopefully with more splintering coming after that.